(Wall Street Journal – Melanie Trottman)
The head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission urged President Barack Obama Wednesday to appoint a new CPSC chairman to deal with mounting complaints about a consumer-product safety law that has left retailers stuck with more than $1 billion of goods they can’t sell.
The letter, sent to Mr. Obama by CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord, a George W. Bush appointee, was blunt, underscoring concerns about the pace at which the Obama administration is filling key posts at federal agencies. At the CPSC, one of three commission chairs has been vacant for nearly three years. Ms. Nord, a commissioner since 2005, became acting chairman later.
A White House spokesman said: “We are moving ahead in an aggressive fashion on a whole array of issues. When it comes to staffing, we are remarkably ahead of where previous administrations were at this point.” He declined to comment on the specifics of Ms. Nord’s letter.
The most immediate challenge facing the CPSC is the daunting task of clarifying a sweeping consumer-product safety act passed in 2008. The law’s limits on lead in products aimed at children aged 12 and under have made it illegal to sell or distribute numerous items that manufacturers and retailers had in stock as of the effective date for the law’s lead limit, February 10, 2009. Read more here.